The City of Mattoon's insurance rating for fire protection service recently improved, a change that could yield lower insurance premiums for some property owners.
Fire Chief Jeff Hilligoss said the Insurance Services Office (ISO) issues these ratings for how well protected communities are by their fire departments. Insurance companies then use that score to help set property insurance rates, although the impact on homeowner insurance policies varies by insurer.
An ISO fire insurance rating is scored on a range of 1-10, with lower numbers meaning better ratings. There are four main criteria for for score: 50 percent from the quality of the fire department, 40 percent from the availability of water supply, 10 percent from the quality of the local 911 system, and an extra 5.5 percent from fire prevention programs.
Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier
Four homes and a coach house caught fire on Chicago's Northwest Side Wednesday.
The fire started in the 2400 block of North Mason in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood at around 2 p.m.
Massive flames and thick black smoke poured from the residential block, as firefighters on ladders attacked the blaze.
Officials said the fire started in one house and spread to others. A total of four houses and a coach house were damaged in the fire. Chicago Fire Department officials said one firefighter is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported in the blaze.
WLS-TV ABC 7 Chicago
The new chief, Jeff Hilligoss, who is helping guide the future of the Mattoon Fire Department has a long family and professional history with this organization.
Hilligoss said he was introduced to the Mattoon Fire Department at a young age by his grandfather, firefighter Lloyd Ring, who brought him to the station and let him check out the fire trucks there.
"I have been around this department my entire life," Hilligoss said. He noted that his uncle, Bob Bales, was also a Mattoon firefighter.
In 1995, Hilligoss began pursuing his own career in firefighting when he became a volunteer with the Lincoln Fire Protection District. Hilligoss ended up serving as a volunteer firefighter for 25 years with Lincoln Fire and was eventually named chief of this district's Old State Road station in rural Mattoon, a position he held until recently.
Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier
Firefighters battled a garage fire Wednesday in Decatur.
Firefighters said they responded at 4:26 p.m. to 1051 W. Mound Road, where they found fire coming through the roof of a three-car garage. The garage was attached to a large 2.5 story residence located at the end of a long lane.
Responders said the home was under renovation in recent weeks and is owned by New Life Pregnancy Center.
Firefighters battled the fire as it ran through the large attic areas of the structure. They brought it under control within an hour.
Crews went through extensive overhaul at the scene. Firefighters cleared the area at 7:03 p.m. Wednesday.
WAND-TV NBC 17 Decatur
The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is making a second try at building a new station that officials say is needed to improve service to the district's east side.
Fire Chief James Kreher said the proposal for a roughly 5-acre site at 1004 S. Hough St. is part of the district's longtime desire for a third station that would benefit residents in Inverness and nearby areas. The land is in unincorporated Cook County just outside Barrington. "We're going to try to make it fit in the neighborhood," Kreher said Wednesday. "It's on a main road where we can get to the eastern part of our district much quicker and it also helps us assist with the northern part of our district and the southern part of our district."
Before construction can occur, Barrington Countryside must go through a county approval process, starting with a zoning board of appeals online public hearing at 10 a.m. July 8.
Illinois Daily Herald - Metered Site